• Walker, Wallace join fort's Hall of Fame

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame inducted two new members — Gen. Walton Walker and retired Gen. William S. Wallace — in a ceremony May 30 in the Eisenhower Auditorium of the Lewis and Clark Center.
    “Today, as we look at these two very distinguished general officers, it is truly an honor to be able to bring them into this hall of fame,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth and commandant of the Command and General Staff College.
    The Fort Leavenworth HOF was established in 1969 by the Henry Leavenworth Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army and Fort Leavenworth leaders.
    Now with 112 members, each inductee has a shadowbox in the atrium of the Lewis and Clark Center with a photo and citation of their contributions to the Army. The HOF is organized by eras including the pre-Civil War era; the Civil War to World War I era; the World War I and II era; the Korea, Vietnam and Cold War era; and the post-Cold War era.
    The HOF honors “outstanding members of the Army, who after being stationed at Fort Leavenworth significantly contributed to the history, heritage and traditions of the Army,” according to the CAC website.
    Walker graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1912. His service included commanding the 13th Machine Gun Battalion of the 5th Division in World War I, and later the 15th Infantry Regiment at the American Barracks in Tietsin, China. During World War II, Maj. Gen. Walker commanded IV Armored Corps and the Desert Training Center in the Mojave Desert — later renamed the XX Corps, the unit chosen by Gen. George S. Patton to spearhead 3rd Army’s offensive through France, Germany and Austria in 1944.
    His first Distinguished Service Cross was presented to him by Patton for his leadership of the XX Corps’ river crossing at Melun, France. He received three Silver Stars — two for his actions in World War I and one for his actions at the Vire River crossing.
    During the Korean War, then-Lt. Gen. Walker engaged the enemy with the understrength 8th Army in July 1950 intending to defend the port of Pusan, the last line of defense on the Korean Peninsula. His defense at the Pusan Perimeter turned the tide of the Korean War, which ultimately led to the survival of the Republic of Korea. He was killed in action on Dec. 23, 1950, and was posthumously promoted to general and awarded a second Distinguished Service Cross.
    Walker attended the Command and General Staff School from 1925-1926.
    “(Gen. Walker) was in the Army at the time of change and he led that change,” Lundy said. “He was faced with a tough task when the Korean War broke out to take what was not a well-trained or well-equipped Army and be able to lead it in combat, be able to consolidate and prevent the loss of South Korea and be able to regain momentum and drive it north to be able to achieve what no other leader could’ve achieved. Tragically, he died … during the conflict but his leadership was what saved the fight.
    Page 2 of 4 - “So, for that today is why we’re inducting him and the contributions that he made not only leading in combat, but the changes he made across our Army. Being able to bring in change is something every leader has to be able to do,” he said.
    “This is a man of great courage, great leadership and great character and he is most deserving to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
    Walker’s grandson, retired Col. Walton “Buck” Walker, accepted the award on Walker’s behalf.
    Col. Walker said that he and his brother, retired Lt. Col. Sam S. Walker III, spent their lives reading about their grandfather’s legacy.
    “We have been struck by the countless accounts of his phenomenal leadership and courage in combat. All of us Walkers have grown up and lived with the incredible legacy of General Walker,” Col. Walker said. “He who served with such moral and physical courage and integrity and commanded so famously inspired his son (ret. Gen.) Sam Sims Walker to become the great soldier and commander that he was. Our father, in turn, also inspired my brother Sam, his son (Capt. Sam) Benjamin (Walker) and me to follow humbly and proudly in both of their footsteps.
    “General Walton Walker’s legacy set the course for Sam and me and our extraordinary Army wives to parent our children to be all they can be, whatever they do, and we can probably say that the Walker legacy lives on with each of them,” he said.
    Wallace graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1969 and was commissioned as an Armor officer. He served as a platoon leader with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment, before deploying to Vietnam and was appointed district senior advisor for Advisory Team 20. He attended CGSC from 1982 to 1983.
    Wallace commanded the 3rd Squadron, 2nd ACR in 1986, the 11th ACR in Germany in 1992 and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., from 1995-1997.
    Wallace commanded V Corps in 2001 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where the corps conducted its historic armored assault into the heart of Iraq, covering more than 300 miles in 16 days and defeating elements of five Iraqi divisions, as well as thousands of irregular and paramilitary forces, and eventually taking Baghdad.
    He assumed command of CAC and Fort Leavenworth in July 2003 and went on to lead Training and Doctrine Command in October 2005.
    Wallace retired from active duty in December 2008. Following his retirement, he became an independent consultant to the defense industry and an independent director on the boards of Oshkosh Corporation and CAC International. Today, he serves the Army on the MITRE Corporation’s Army Advisory Board and as chairman of the Army Aviation Association’s Senior Executive Advisors.
    Page 3 of 4 - “Having served with him and for him and having been exposed to his leadership over many years, I will tell you that (Gen. Wallace) absolutely exemplifies everything that we think about when we induct someone into the Hall of Fame,” Lundy said. “(He did) a phenomenal job at TRADOC of really setting the course for where the Army was going and the future. His legacy and impact today, we still feel it. So, it’s truly an honor today to induct General Wallace. A great mentor, a great friend, a great leader.”
    Wallace said he was appreciative of the recognition, but felt the recognition wasn’t his.
    “It’s that of the thousands of soldiers and leaders with whom I’ve served over the course of almost 40 years in uniform of the United States Army. It’s that of the many mentors that took pity on me and helped me along the way,” he said. “It’s that of the many friends and family whose support that I enjoy both then and now. It’s a recognition that our Army is a team whose excellence is ensured by the understanding of a common doctrine through tough realistic training under adverse conditions and the trust that leaders have in their soldiers and soldiers have in their leaders.”
    Wallace said he remembered his time at Fort Leavenworth fondly calling it a special place in the spirit of the U.S. Army.
    “For decades, (Fort Leavenworth has) produced the finest leaders of ours (and) in our allied partners’ armies. It’s a place where professional soldiers gather to discuss and argue and adapt and learn. Fort Leavenworth is the place that guarantees that thought and learning precedes actions. It’s a place where the seeds of the profession are planted early in the year and reach full bloom by the time graduation rolls around,” he said.
    “Some of the most incredible history of our Army is here. The ghosts of Custer and MacArthur and Marshall walk these halls. An Army that is the most gifted and most respected in the world. An Army that’s older than our nation itself. An Army that from its very beginnings has always done the heavy lifting for our nation. This is an Army which supported and defended the ideas of freedom and democracy well before there was a constitution to support and defend. This is an Army that has traveled the globe in support of our national interest and the interest of freedom loving people everywhere. This is an Army that, once committed, brings hope to people in places where there was none. This is an Army that depends on the intellectual foundation that is Fort Leavenworth. I’m proud to have been a small part of all that.”
    Page 4 of 4 - Walker’s and Wallace’s shadowboxes are now on display in the atrium of the Lewis and Clark Center.
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